11 Change-Making Designs That Inspire Action
Every year—for the past 14 years—Sappi has given the Ideas that Matter grant to designs that inspire action to change the world. Here are the 2013 winners.
Gwen O'Brien, Plenty - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Gwen O'Brien, creative director at Plenty—a Grand Rapids-based design firm—built a website allowing residents to identify, tag, and map local trees. Working for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the project adds user-friendly legs in tracking and sustaining the city's tree canopy.
EducationSuperHighway White Paper
Naomi Usher, Studio Usher - New York City
100 Mbps. That's the minimal goal of EducationSuperHighway, a project aimed at upgrading and extending internet infrastructure running through America's K-12 public school system. The whitepaper will be a high-impact piece of visual collateral the group plans to take to the FCC, senators, members of Congress, and school boards to gather support.
Marc Moscato, Know Your City - Portland, Oregon
To make permissions and protections for tenants in Portland more understandable, Marc Moscato of Know Your City created 3,500 bilingual comic strips illustrating what is often lost in renter's right's handbooks and their walls of text. Winning the grant means the comics can be printed for wide-release.
Makeshift Institute: Education from the Fringe
Steven Daniels, Makeshift - Merrick, N.Y.
The publishers of Makeshift magazine are reinventing the textbook as an "instructional magazine" that's story-driven, visual, and engaging, while still academically rigorous. Each magazine will be curated, with an instructor's help, from Makeshift's own stories about uncovering creative solutions from the fringe.
Tina Chang Walderman and Anne Jaconette, Nyaya Health - New York City
To get more health services into rural Nepal, Nyaya Health built a crowd-funded system to join public agencies in closing "the delivery gap in last mile communities."
The Green River Magazine
Sarah Baugh and Nicole Lavelle, Sincerely Interested - Green River, Utah
Believing "print can bring a town together," The Green River Magazine is a collaboration between ordinary townspeople looking for a place to entrust their stories. Led by Sarah Baugh and Nicole Lavelle, the magazine is seen as an evolved form of the Green River Newspaper, continuing the trend of "community-powered" publications.
Fresh Artists Storytelling Tools
Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel, Kradel Design and Philadelphia University - Philadelphia
Noticing the constant cutbacks in arts education, and the failure of top-down fundraising to offset those cuts, Fresh Artists proposed something else: a partnership between private donors, schools, and the K-12 artists themselves. The project takes money raised from student-created art to further supply art programs. The grant will help support the fundraising campaign.
Design for the Neighborhood Design Center
Mike Weikert, Ryan Clifford, and Mira Azarm, Center for Design Practice at MICA - Baltimore
With a pool of volunteer architects and design students, the Neighborhood Design Center, in partnership with the Center for Design Practice at Maryland Institute College of Art, is purposed with creating community master plans, retooling abandoned buildings, and building upon hundreds of community initiatives in Baltimore to improve neighborhoods.
Zoning Toolkit Guidebook and Game Board
Jeff Lai and Andrew Sloate, The Center for Urban Pedagogy - Brooklyn
New York City is a maze of zoning restrictions. To get around them, Jeff Lai and Andrew Sloat designed a guidebook and game board for residents to familiarize themselves with complex civic policy.
Draw it Out Classroom Kit & Grief Outreach
Steffanie Lorign and Jana Nishi Yuen, Art with Heart - Seattle
Refined with input from 27 experts from a wide-range of child-related grief and therapy fields, Draw it Out is an experimental book that aids children in working through traumas–such as divorce, violence, or death–by engaging them, asking questions they may be to afraid to ask and helping them identify their support systems.
City of Refuge - 180º Kitchen Catering
Vicky Jones, Brand Fever - Atlanta
A cafeteria, caterer, and culinary school, 180º Kitchen Catering focuses on nutrition and vocation for the residents of Atlanta. "Here we teach vital jobs and social skills that help transform those once in despair and crisis into citizens who can lead lives of sustainable independence."
Images courtesy of Sappi
The Vision for a 21st Century Drive-in Way out in West Texas, a grand plan for a drive-in movie theater promised to invigorate an entire community.
A New Social Network for Marijuana Users So stoked on that joint that you just have to share it with the world? There’s an app for that.
A $113 Million Idea Conquering the World is a Beautiful Thing to Watch A hypnotic data visualization of the spread of one of history's most viral phenomenons
Spreading the Word on High-Impact Nonprofits, a Dollar a Day A site created by volunteers and a Kickstarter founder offers you a small way to support innovative philanthropic organizations.
The Show Must Go On An interview with Tig Notaro Tig Notaro on comedy, creativity, and cancer.
5 of Rory’s Favorite Books That Perfectly Explain Gilmore Girls Rory Gilmore, a rolemodel for a generation of bookish young women, expressed herself best through literature.
Vermont Farmers Pilot a Whiz-Bang Solution to Fertilizer Pee-cycling saves water, feeds plants, and helps low-income farmers. What’s not to love?
Freelance-Friendly Cities Being your own boss has never been so affordable. Work-Life Balance: What makes a Freelance-Friendly City?
This Yoga-in-Schools Program Just Raised $31,000 in Crowdfunding R.I.S.E. introduces Bay Area teens to yoga, to help with self-image, grades, and other adolescent nightmares.
A New Olympics Just For Nomads Playing polo with a 100-pound goat carcass to save nomadic culture and build national pride in Kyrgyzstan.
New Detroit Program Trades Houses for Literary Excellence Write a House names Brooklyn poet Casey Rocheteau as first recipient of free home in Detroit
A Chance in Hell Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse Up against an $88 billion beef industry, it takes a leap of faith to raise yak in the United States.